Pattaya Thailand – Diamonds in the rough

Working as a travel agent in Thailand often leads me to Pattaya for a week or 2 of work throughout the year. Pattaya is well known for its busy nightlife, red light districts and the infamous walking street. 

A stroll out of your hotel to find some food at night and you will be confronted by many scantily clad ladies trying to lure you into there massage parlor or gogo bar.They have a slogan in this town “Good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to Pattaya” and this may be true but I was determine to discover some culture and hidden gems in this sleaze ridden town after all I was still in tropical asia, the land of the Buddha.

I had heard of a magical place before and seen photos of what looked like something from a Disney movie. I set out to discover “The Sanctuary of Truth” to see if the legends were true. And true they were, as I approached this megolithic structure towering above me, my breath was truly taken away. I had seen many temples in Thailand perhaps hundreds. But rarely does one have such an effect on me as did “The Sanctuary of Truth.” The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and it was the feeling of being in the presence of something truly magic. The Sanctuary of Truth is completely hand carved from wood, even the bolts and binders holding it together are all completely wood. The details were impeccable and faultless but also very organic. I believe it was the pure passion and detail that had been woven into this beast that gave it the power it possessed. In a digital world that often feels so disconnected from purity and in a place like Pattaya where perverted and sadistic minds run rampant. This was Art at its purest form and no unpure energy was going to touch it, it stood tall and strong on its own, perched up – overlooking the ocean. It was a haven of peace and magic. Inside and out. A place I will never forget.

My next discovery was the “Khao Chi Chan Buddha” also known as Buddha Mountain. This is a magnificent image of Buddha carved into a massive rock wall. This unique structure attracts many tourists and passers by as it can be seen from miles away. You can’t help but wonder as you stare at this perfect image of Buddha is… how did they do it? It is a feat of wonder and beauty, surrounded by a lush garden and forest its a great place to disconnect from Pattaya city, enjoy some fruits and snap a few photos with your loved ones.

Not far from Buddha Mountain is “Viharn Sien” a Chinese art Temple Museum. A home to the shrines of many ancient Warriors and Saints. A small 40baht entry fee gets you through the gates to wander the temple grounds graced by massive statues of towering figures accompanied by their description and story. You can take a walk through ancient history in this majestic palace. As I wondered the bottom floor I was determined and hoping to come across a Legend I had read so much about – “Bodhidarma.” It wasn’t until I reached the second floor outside level I came face to face with the man himself. The original master of Zen and Kung Fu. This was a great moment for me. 

 

So there I was in the presence of magic and greatness in Pattaya. Yes the stories are true, Pattaya has a dark side, take a stroll down the infamous walking street and you will see many sad and sorry faces. But follow your heart and you will find the magic in this place and your energy will be uplifted by pure art and history. 

Enjoy Pattaya! 

On my next journey in Pattaya I plan to visit the Islands and seek out some beautiful beaches. Stay tuned for that!

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